“For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the LORD had given them." Numbers 32:9
Discouragement, that powerful weapon of the evil one, has prevented projects from starting, halted construction halfway through, and left many a Christian washed up and alone. Why does the evil one like it so much? Because it works. That which we call depression begins with discouragement and ends when the flower of courage blooms once more. If what we call anxiety is but fear by another name, then depression is the discouraged child of the Lord paralyzed by despair. It is an enemy worth fighting for the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ!
The story of the Israelites arriving just across the river from the land promised to them by God is the great illustration of discouragement. Ten scouts spoke discouragement and took the heart of faith out of Israel. The people heard the reports, sifted out the faith of Joshua and Caleb, took stock of themselves, forgot all that God had done for them, accepted discouragement, and turned away from the land flowing with milk and honey. Not one of the men over 20, with the exception of faithful Joshua and Caleb, would see the promised land. And the Lord in His anger turned His beloved Israel around to wander the wilderness for 40 years.
What wilderness have you or I decided to wander because of discouragement? Where would the Lord lead us in faith, if we would take courage from Him and believe? Tough questions to look at the self and answer, but Israel did come to its promised land after the discouragement was worked out. Trust in Him!Bucky